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(computer science)
Multiuser software that supports information sharing through digital media, such as electronic mail and messaging, electronic meeting systems and audio conferencing, group calendaring and scheduling, workflow process diagramming and analysis tools, and group document handling including group editing.



Software that supports multiple users working on related tasks in local and remote networks. Also called "collaborative software," groupware is an evolving concept that is more than just multiuser software which allows access to the same data. Groupware provides a mechanism that helps users coordinate and keep track of ongoing projects together.

Lotus Notes is often considered the father of groupware, because it was the first to popularize a multifunction groupware system and development environment.

A fundamental component of groupware is email, because email is used to notify team members, obtain responses and send alerts. Email messages include live links to databases, intranets and the Internet. Instant messaging (IM) is also widely used.

Groupware Is Comprehensive
Groupware also includes document sharing and document management, group calendaring and scheduling, group contact and task management, threaded discussions, text chat, data conferencing and audio and videoconferencing. Workflow, which allows messages and documents to be routed to the appropriate users, is often part of a groupware system.

From Simple to Complex
The Internet/intranet explosion focused attention on groupware because of the ease with which HTML pages could be created and shared. However, as documents became widely distributed throughout the enterprise, security and synchronization problems surfaced. Document management became a problem, and access control and replication became issues. Thus, what started out as a simple way to electronically publish information, wound up becoming a complex enterprise-wide system. See workflow, contextual collaboration, collaborative browsing and wares.

Groupware and Workflow
Groupware focuses on the information being processed and enabling users to share it. Workflow emphasizes the process, which acts as a container for the information. Groupware is "information centered." Workflow is "process centered." (Illustration courtesy of Delphi Consulting Group, Inc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The security features defined in the Trusted Computing Group Software Stack specification include attestation, authentication, and secure storage.
The Trusted Computing Group Software Stack specification provides a standard application programming interface to access the security-related functions of the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM.
The Trusted Computing Group Software Stack specification also will more easily enable applications that build on existing PKCS#11 (Public Key Cryptography Standards) and MSCAPI (Microsoft CryptoAPI)-based applications, such as secure e-mail, that are already supported by the TPM.
The Trusted Computing Group Software Stack specification defines a device driver library, core services and the service provider that sit on top of the TPM.
GROUP Software Becomes GROUP Technologies of North America
GROUP Technologies AG, a worldwide leader in e-mail content security software, today announced that it has formally transitioned GROUP Software of North America to GROUP Technologies of North America (GT Inc) and that all worldwide development, sales, support, and marketing programs will be unified under brand GROUP Technologies.
Since 1999, our products have successfully been offered in the North American market under the brand GROUP Software," explained Juergen Wege, founder and CEO of GROUP Technologies AG.
Prior to ATT Bell Labs Jim held senior executive positions in Control Data Corporation's Professional Services Division, Digital Equipment Corporation's Large Computer Group Software Division and worked ten years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Theoretical Physics and Computer Divisions.
Syspro Group software is marketed worldwide through regional territory distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Africa, Asia Pacific, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Vitria, (Nasdaq:VITR), the leading provider of innovative integration solutions, today announced that Graham Smith, chief financial officer of Vitria, will speak at the Salomon Smith Barney Technology Group Software Conference on Thursday, May 23 at 8:45 a.